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Miss Manners by Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Gift Registries Are a Bad Idea, Regardless the Occasion

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was invited to a birthday party for a 2-year-old. On the invitation was where the parents had the child registered for gifts.

I was under the impression that you register for a bridal shower or first baby shower. I thought this was quite rude to ask for gifts. I was not brought up this way. Am I wrong or were they?

GENTLE READER: All right, everyone, that's quite enough. Miss Manners is tired of being tactful about this. Stop it! (Not you, dear; she means the parents of this 2-year-old and anyone else who is contemplating the same.)

Registries are never proper, not for weddings, not for baby showers and not for birthdays. Not for christenings, bar mitzvahs, quinceaneras, sweet sixteens, graduations, engagements, coming out, announcing gender, changing gender, getting a job, losing a job, buying a house, divorcing, retiring or dying.

It is simply never polite to ask someone to buy you a present. Everyone is just going to have to go through life's milestones without the explicit intention of reaping material rewards.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Money | Holidays & Celebrations